Medium moving away from "ad-driven publishing model", laying off 1/3 of its staff

 We believe people who write and share ideas should be rewarded on their ability to enlighten and inform, not simply their ability to attract a few seconds of attention.

Evan Williams has been part of internet publishing for almost 20 years - he's a cofounder of Pyra Labs, best known for the Blogger blogging platform (eventually acquired by Google), co-founder of Twitter, and currently the founder and CEO of the Medium publishing platform.

When he talks about what "works" people listen. And this is what he posted today about advertising.

His goal is quite ambitious: "To build a platform that defined a new model for media on the internet."

And an ad-driven model was not working towards that goal.

Upon further reflection, it’s clear that the broken system is ad-driven media on the internet. It simply doesn’t serve people. In fact, it’s not designed to. The vast majority of articles, videos, and other “content” we all consume on a daily basis is paid for — directly or indirectly — by corporations who are funding it in order to advance their goals. And it is measured, amplified, and rewarded based on its ability to do that. Period. As a result, we get…well, what we get. And it’s getting worse.

So they are shifting gears. But leaving that model means closing offices and scaling down Medium's staff.

And ultimately the problem is that there isn't any obviously better revenue model to replace ads.

So, we are shifting our resources and attention to defining a new model for writers and creators to be rewarded, based on the value they’re creating for people. And toward building a transformational product for curious humans who want to get smarter about the world every day.

It is too soon to say exactly what this will look like.

And i think that's why people turn to advertising: not because people love ads, but because there isn't any obvious alternative.

It will be interesting to see what they come up with.

Read Ev Williams announcement:
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